Media That Has Influenced Me
'Influencers' are everywhere nowadays. We are probably influenced most days and not realising it! So what was the last thing you remember being influenced by that has impacted you positively?
Being relatively new to the 'fitness scene' within the last five years or so, and as an entry-level fitness professional, I rely on various resources and media to inform my views and knowledge on the industry.
Even in this short time my views have changed (a few times) as new trends and evidence comes to light, however knowledge is power, and the best thing we can do it continue to soak up resources to help us in our outlook.
Here are just a couple of the key media that have been key in influencing my fitness outlook.
Crossfit 'Fittest on Earth' docu-film (Netflix), 2017
I remember watching Fittest on Earth with a packet of chocolate buttons in hand, in awe of these people on my screen. A few years ago now, I watched this docu-film before I knew much about CrossFit. Seeing athletic women on my TV competing and striving to be 'Fittest on Earth' changed something in me. It showed me that strength and femininity could co-exist at the extreme end of the spectrum - seeing Katrin and Sara and the others looking absolutely beautiful but so strong. It played a big part in me moving forward and exploring 'fitness' beyond what I thought women were bound to.
'Unstoppable' by Dave Anderson (book), 2017
Not entirely specific to fitness, this book sets out personality traits and aims to not only helps you identify these types of people in your life, but also help you improve your own 'status' in these categories. I was reading one of those airline magazines flying home from my Les Mills AIM2 training weekend in London, my brain still retaining some of its sponge-like state from absorbing and learning how to be a better instructor. I saw this book featured in one of the articles as it had just been released, it was like I was purposely drawn to that magazine, page, article and it appealed to me in that moment. I ordered a copy online and it has made a great impression on how I work (both in fitness and professional life). A good summary of the book is as follows;
"Unstoppable is a performance-enhancing manual for those who are ready to change the world. Regardless of talent or skill set, there are four types of people in every organization: Undertakers, Caretakers, Play Makers, and Game Changers—but value is definitely not equal across the board. Game changers move things forward with relentless energy, effort, attitude, and excellence. They elevate those around them, inspire exceptional performance, and drive their organization to the top. This book is designed to help you rise to the challenge and become the Game Changer your organization needs. Candid insights from dozens of coaches, managers, CEOs, journalists, entrepreneurs, and other elite performers reveal the qualities that make some people and out, and the underlying theme is mindset.
While talent is a great head start, it is merely potential. Undeveloped and erratically-wielded talent holds little value for an organization. The key to high performance is an intentionally cultivated mindset of success, backed by the bold action it takes to make things happen every day. This book delves deep into the elite performance paradigm to help you work at the highest levels."
The James Smith (podcast), 2019
I had only really heard about James Smith through others sharing content on social media. I knew he had openly bashed BODYPUMP on social media and was aware of his 'reputation' for his saying-it-how-it-is attitude to fitness. Well, his tagline for weight loss - "Calorie F*cking Deficit" - pretty much sums that one up.
Not one for podcasts (other than the Chasing Excellence podcast).. One morning I was getting set to embark on another commute from Perth to Aberdeen and had an unexpected moment of curiosity. I scrolled through his list of podcasts and selected Episode 13 'Mental Wealth'. It seemed to appeal to me most through the title alone. I listened intently and was engaged through James' style and subject matter. The opening anecdote captured my attention and from therein I was interested in what James had to say.
On Spotify, podcast episodes continue playing in succession until you hit 'stop', so I must have listened through at least three episodes on that car journey.. And another three on the way home. There were episodes about Supplements and Drugs/ Steroid use which do not directly interest or relate to me but I let the episodes play and enjoyed listening to what James was discussing. I understand this is just one man's view on these topics, but I feel more informed about the 'realness' of them.
James calls out a lot of BS that many of us will be subjected to on social media - or any media - and busts much of the smoke & mirrors of the industry. It is great to know someone is willing to do that.
Have you used these too? Do you have others that have influenced you?
Tell me about them on Instagram!